On Writing · Poetry · Writing Life

Two Poems #morningcoffeesessions

Anti-Ode to Allergies
Inspired by ‘Ode to Common Things’ by Pablo Neruda

The infinitely small
play leap frog in my nose
resulting in a land of itch

Two pinky moist nostrils
landing strips for pesky pollen
I cannot see or smell

The so soft softness of
dandelion fluff flutters
about on tangents of
adventures on a quest
for my eyes – my lashes
gathering forests
broken blossoms that
make my eyeballs
rage with rub me

Oh, these days of whispering
willow whirls conspiring with
weed whimsy wails –
‘Tis the season of allergy atonements
my eyes my nose my tongue my throat
battlegrounds throbbing under
scratched up skin

Oh, allergy season!
Masked beneath brilliant sun
basking moon and skies
so blue they make birds scream
Your costume of summer is a
tricky ruse – theatrics
Shakespearean in the
tragedies of my inflamed body

Oh, allergy season!
You saucy fox!
Go back into your hole!
Hibernate amongst the
thirsty roots and cicada cocoons
Give my face rest!

Summer is a treasure in golds
A scattering of spring’s things
pushed skyward – lift them
up up up and away
Oh, wind, oh wild, wild wind!
Carry off these remnants
wreaking havoc on my senses.

Farewell season of allergies –
Away! Away! Away!


A Writer’s What Ifs

What if I wrote one story at a time?
What if I taught myself how to focus
on one set of poems
one group of characters
at a time. What if I
stayed with them until their stories
were completely told?
What if I dedicated the same hours
each day to delivering the words
kindly gently powerfully to the page?
What if discipline wasn’t a bumpy path
but a paved road bathed in sunlight?
What if I was the kind of writer who
finished one project at a time?
And finishing garnered a minor celebration
maybe a slice of pie and a cup of tea
before heading into the hilly land of revisions?
What if the words were always priority
silver-plattered ahead of everything except
illness, births and deaths?
What if when the story was finished
revised with reds edited with enthusiasm
a bell would ring in my throat and I’d know
it was time to send it into the world?
What if I wasn’t afraid to submit?
What if I wasn’t wounded by rejection?
What if I always re-submitted instead of giving up?
What if I got an agent?
What if I got a book deal?
What if I got film rights and the characters got
another life on the big screen?
What if through all these types of
successes and failures – I kept writing?
I kept dedicating the same hours each day
to delivering the words kindly gently powerfully
to the page?

What if I taught myself how to stop
comparing words and I just loved them?
What if each day opened like a book and
I trusted the inky shapes of fine letters and
the peaceful tradition of time flowing and
I wrote what I wrote when I wrote it?
And I loved each necessary letter even
If it got edited out?
What if I ate pie and sipped tea
whenever I so desired?

What if ‘what if’ didn’t matter?
The words always lived
Inside and out
of me

A writer.


These days are steeped in grief. Poems comes and go like memories. My pauses in sharing…in communication…in community…the only way I know how to navigate. There is much to witness and so I am witnessing. Holding. Finding respite in privacy.


Be kind. Be peaceful.

One thought on “Two Poems #morningcoffeesessions

  1. On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 10:05 AM VANESSA SHIELDS, writer wrote:

    > Vanessa Shields posted: “Anti-Ode to Allergies Inspired by ‘Ode to Common > Things’ by Pablo Neruda The infinitely small play leap frog in my nose > resulting in a land of itch Two pinky moist nostrils landing strips for > pesky pollen I cannot see or smell The so soft so” >

    Like

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